Yeah, this year’s Duluth school board elections is one of those flukes. You regular readers know what I mean. Me – not being a candidate. Oh I toyed with the idea but when a candidate emerged in Judy Seliga’s 3rd District my conscience was eased and I played with my Grandchildren instead of campaigning for office. If you had a Tan Man and a Jakie to give you a hug like their lives depended upon it you would have no doubt that I made the right decision.
I haven’t mentioned this almost limbic-like thought to my wife – and poop on any of you readers who dares tell her I’ve broached the subject to the eight of you who read this blog – but I’ve been thinking about running for Congress again. No kidding.
It might work like this.
Rationale and How To:
1. Everybody hates Congress. Latest polling down to 9% approval.
2. No one trusts anyone who belongs to a major political party theoretically giving an “independent” a good chance.
3. Chip Cravaack is toast and should be if for no other reason than he wallows at Grover Norquist’s feet. His moving to New Hampshire is just frosting on the cake.
4. The main reason Democrats kept getting elected has been because voters in Minnesota’s Eighth District go for the candidate (so far always a guy) who can guarantee the greatest federal pork but in this day and age of precious little pork they will look for some other reason.
5. The DFL party candidates so far all look like an early version of today’s GOP presidential candidates. (See the link on previous post)
6. Few candidates could make a better claim for being an independent than me having run for Congress twice – 1992 and 2006 as an Independent. (I was even independent of Minnesota’s Independence Party)
7. Granted I only got 7% and 2% respectively of the overall vote in those years but I was grossly out spent and viewed as a flake largely for not belonging to either party and for many previous campaigns.
8. That wouldn’t likely change except that this year I’d run as a Democrat in the primary. (Possible situation – see point 5)
9. I’d run as though I was unlikely to win and consequently speak candidly which I think would put me in far better stead this year than ever before.
frankly, my non partisan credentials have been premature up until now.
10. In a day when people are tired of politics as usual I’d offer them not only what they wanted but what they needed.
11. Voters don’t need a nice guy Republican afraid of Norquist, Dobson, Limbaugh and Fox News. They don’t need another James, Business as usual, spend like a drunken sailor, Oberstar.
12. What voters need is someone to help lead a short term fix for what really ails American politics – blind gridlock.
13.To that end I’d pledge to serve for only two terms tops. First by running as a Democrat (in 2112) for the first two year term. After that I’d quit the Democratic Party (where I’ve been caucusing for six years) and run as a Republican (in 2114) for a final two-year term.
14. As a Congressman I’d ignore partisan politics. I can make the case that I love and hate both parties because its true. I would only promise to have my staff make a top priority of constituent services while I cajolled and goaded my fellow Congressman to follow my example of encouraging comity between the two party’s – not only for the sake of the nation but for the sake of the world. they say that guilt is the gift that keeps on giving and God knows most of our Congressmen are guilty of sin of wanting to get reelected more than fixing the nation. We’ve got big problems. We’re indenturing our grandchildren financially, We’re risking an irreversable Global Warming, We’re ignoring a world wide financial collapse……and this is just for starters. Who gives a damn what Congressional Committee you become a slave to with this all going on in the background. Hell, that’s what it is to Congress – background events which take hind tit behind organizing a year-round reelection campaign and sucking up to folks whose chief interest is turning politics into a blood sport.
Golly – Point 45 was a long one.
15. The harder campaign might be the second one as a Republican in 2114. There will be a reapportioned district next year but I haven’t seen any proposed maps that would greatly affect the outcome.
16. I’ve just proposed something novel – pledging in advance to run for one party then switch afterward. Plenty of politicans have held their fingers up to the wind to decide when to change parties but none have ever announced they would do what I’m contemplating. It would be a pax on both parties not a pox on them and we could use a little serious pax.
17. I’m just quirky enough to pull off a campaign in which America, not just Northeastern Minnesota, takes notice. For one thing I’m as closed to politically fearless as any other candidates I’ve seen. I’m not sure if that is because as a junior high student I took JFK’s book Profiles in Courage too seriously or if it was because my parents beat it into my head that my grandfather was a superhero for having won a Congressional Medal of Honor and encouraging me to climb up on the pedestal he stood upon. If I did get national attention I might just pull in the kind of money that actually gets a no-name Congressional candidate elected in a volatile election year.
18. This pre-maybe announcement would be the start but I wouldn’t really start campaigning for months. Maybe not until May or June of next year when the filings take place. Heck I’ve got a lot of Grandchild hugging to do between now and then.
19. Finally, unless I amend or add to this post I’d raise money and interest in the same way I attempted to do in 1992. I’d write a book and sell it to raise money for my campaign. That time I began writing the book first. It was a children’s adventure story. It turned out not to be very good but I mostly began writing it to teach myself how to write. I sold several hundred of the books and used the proceeds to campaign. Hey, a couple thousand dollars got me 7% of the vote. This year, as long time readers know, I’m writing another book. This one is about politics. That’s a much more sensible topic for a political candidate. I’m also a much more practiced writer than I was twenty years ago.
Now here’s what to expect. I don’t know if I’ll be posting much until Spring when I decide whether to proceed with this proposal. Blogging takes too much time if I’m going to finish that book. I’m counting on there being a lot of interest in the book and this “maybe” announcement will serve as the teaser for what might become a campaign for Congress. Anybody interested enough in my quirky political bonifides has this blog to mine for information. I’m over 4,000 posts by now and probably over 2 million words. I have no speech writers as filters and what you read here is the unvarnished me, hyperbole and all.
A week after first writing this post I made some modifications and fixed some typos. I may continue to make modest changes in the future. Mostly, I’ll trot this same post out from now till my possible filing to alert new readers that they’ve got a serious Harold Stassen on their hands.
Oh, and let’s keep this a secret from Claudia.
PS. When I was a kid I once saw a television comedy where a young fellow wanted to marry his girl but the Father refused because the suiter had no money.
The penniless suitor asked to meet with the Father who reaffirmed his opposition to the marriage whereupon the boy bet the father $50 that he would raise sufficient funds to make the marriage acceptable to the Father. Seeing an opportunity for some quick cash the Father agreed whereupon the hopeful son-in-law took off all his clothes.
The astonished Father angrily demanded to know what the young man was doing. The suitor explained that since everyone knew his daughter was sweet on him the Father would be mightily embarrassed to have the suiter strutting around naked on Main Street. Of course, added the suitor, he would put his clothes back on if the Father gave him $50 to avoid the father’s humiliation.
With that $50 dollars in hand the suitor went about making more shrewd deals until, of course he won the hand of his darling and the approval of her Father.
That will be my political campaign in a nutshell. However, instead of trying to win a new bride I’ll be auditioning to be become a matchmaker on the national stage between Republicans and Democrats. As my hero would have put it, I’ll be looking for the better angels of their nature. Do they have them? Well, as Will Rogers said, he never met a man he didn’t like. I think he was on to something.
By the way, that goes for Nancy Pelosi too.